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Japan press: Toshiba to end HD DVD

updated 02:45 pm EST, Sat February 16, 2008

Toshiba to End HD DVD

Previous reports that Toshiba will end its efforts in HD DVD are accurate, according to a report by Japanese broadcaster NHK as well as additional sources. The electronics maker is poised to both stop future development as well as ramp down manufacturing of HD DVD players, recorders, and PC drives. The move will be one of Toshiba's costliest to date and should cost hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the Japan press outlet. Toshiba has not responded to the claims, though sources have suggested an official announcement will be made soon.

If accurate, the end to HD DVD will represent one of the quickest ever for competing formats and will effectively hand the entire HD movie format war to its chief opponent, Blu-ray. The rapid fall began with movie studio Warner Bros.' plan to drop HD DVD just before the Consumer Electronics Show in January, which handed a clear majority of HD movies to Blu-ray and forced the HD DVD Promotional Group to cancel its keynote presentation for the event. The shift led to a sustained marketshare lead for Blu-ray almost immediately afterwards and spurred several independent studios to echo Warner's Blu-ray only policy.

Toshiba's decision is widely believed to have been accelerated by events of the past week, which saw Best Buy, Netflix, and ultimately Wal-Mart all announce that they would drop HD DVD over coming months, all but killing HD DVD's ability to gain traction in the American market.

Until Warner's decision, both formats had largely remained competitive with each other since their respective launches in 2006. Blu-ray typically enjoyed wider support from hardware manufacturers such as Pioneer, Samsung, and Sony, but was countered by the typically lower prices of Toshiba's HD DVD players as well as official support from Microsoft which saw an Xbox 360 add-on drive and official promotion of the standard for Windows PCs.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Eriamjh

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Oct 2001

    0

    YES!

    I'll drink a toast to blu-ray when the announcement comes from Toshiba itself. It's been a horrible two-year war and it needs to end for HD to go mainstream. I expect all HD-DVD movies to eventually be released on BR.

    It would be nice if Sony allowed some kind of trade-in discount program for HD-DVD owners so they can switch over quickly and BR can take over the world.

    I own neither because I was waiting for the war to end....

  1. russellb

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    Blue Ray

    About time !

    Long Live Blue Ray .... good riddance HD .. all HD was doing was holding up the progress of High Def content and Microsoft was doing all it could to prolong the format wart so it had more time to develop it's own proprietary standard to suites it's own ends before any one HD format became too popular , they have been trying to prop up HD for ages.

  1. cvbcvb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003

    0

    One reason why Blu-ray...

    sucks...

    Region Coding...

    CVB

  1. Eriamjh

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Oct 2001

    0

    Region coding?

    Most people don't care about it. Look how much it affected DVD? It doesn't.

  1. mqualben

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2001

    0

    Bittersweet

    I was rooting for HD-DVD, as Blu-Ray discs are more expensive to manufacture, and the compatibility issues between Blu-Ray version 1.0, 1.1, and 2.0 just suck. But, I'm also glad this stupid war is over.

  1. bommai

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2001

    0

    Compatibility not an ..

    Profile Compatibility is not an issue. Movies are fully backward compatible.

  1. growlf

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007

    0

    Profiles...

    Every time I see a comment about the profile "issue", I have to wonder if the person actually has used a BD device or is just spouting the typical rhetoric they've seen on a forum somewhere.

    I have the 360 HD-DVD add-on that I've used for movies like Serenity, Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz. I also have a PS3 that I've purchased far more movies for.

    Not once did I ever feel like I was "missing" something with my 1.0 profile player, nor did I feel like the HD-DVDs gave me anything extra. I guess I just didn't care enough about additional features.

    If Microsoft had produced a game console and add-on drive that didn't sound like a vacuum cleaner when I turned it on, I may have rooted more for "red." My only other experience w/ a red player was the first-to-market Toshiba that took over a minute to boot. My PS3, on the other hand, is virtually silent and does a great job with Blu-ray.

    These are just opinions. I also think the 360's Halo 3 is *c**** compared to PS3's Warhawk, so I'm probably in the minority of the online population.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2006

    0

    Toshiba

    It's probably cheaper for Toshiba just to obtain Blue-ray license than to spend $$$$$ on competing their own format at these point. The quicker they end, the more they save.

  1. bennco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    0

    The War.. OH - the WAR!!!

    "It's been a horrible two-year war and it needs to end for HD to go mainstream."

    OH - the calamity, the horror, the pain and agony!!!.. THe WAR...Make it stop - can't we all just get along?

    Please - we all knew this would happen back in 2005. Just look at the supporting companies, movie studio support, retailers, - but most importantly look at the 'Companies listed as Members of the Board or Managing Members' - That says it all.

    --

    In interesting thing to watch pan out - yes.. a horrible WAR.. I don't think so.

  1. bennco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    0

    WAR Link

    Forgot to post link:

    http://www.engadget.com/2005/09/19/blu-ray-vs-hd-dvd-state-of-the-union-s-division/

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